Suppose you lived in a community where an old but well maintained bridge connected two river banks, enabling people and goods to move across. The bridge would represent a piece of community wealth, although its existence would only marginally impact the community’s ‘GDP’. Now suppose someone proposed to boost the community’s economic activity (GDP) by blowing up the bridge and building a new one. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Economic growth
Eurasian integration and the future of humanity
Developed world has come to a fork in the road. One of the paths leads in the direction of general military conflagration as the empire aggressively seeks to assert its dominance, bludgeoning every independent-leaning nation into submission. The other path leads toward peaceful economic integation, growth, cooperation and trade across the old continent. Western political elites, working on behalf of corporate interests seem to be doing their utmost to lead us into another World War. Meanwhile those independent-leaning nations are building bridges of cooperation and trade. A recent article by F. William Engdahl provides an excellent take on how that path is being forged. This could be one of the defining stories of humanity’s future. Continue reading
Economic growth is not a sustainable policy objective
It goes without saying that the key policy objective of fiscal and monetary authorities world over is to achieve and sustain economic growth. This unthinking adherence to orthodoxy is very unfortunate. We cannot hope to solve society’s problems unless we formulate the problems correctly. And we can’t formulate them correctly if we set inappropriate goals.
A while back, Jeremy Grantham made an illuminating projection: suppose that in 3030 B.C. the total possession of the people of Egypt filled a box measuring 1 cubic meter. Suppose further these possessions grew at a rate of 4.5% per annum. How large should this hoard get 3000 years later, in 30 B.C.?